By Chuck Arnold
May 24, 1999 12:00 PM

Star struck

As director Steven Spielberg’s wife of seven years, Kate Capshaw knows a thing or two about blockbuster movie openings. Now the actress will see if her romantic comedy The Love Letter, due May 21, has the force to go up against the Star Wars prequel The Phantom Menace, which hits theaters two days earlier. “We’re opening with Star Wars—not against Star Wars,” says Capshaw, 45. “That tug of war would be pitiful.” In The Love Letter, Tom Everett Scott, an actor 17 years her junior, plays Capshaw’s romantic interest. She has no qualms about being the older woman—especially since she has already done what she calls “the older-men romances.” “I did Harrison Ford and Richard Gere,” says Capshaw. “I even did a movie with Sean Connery where he plays my husband.” All told, she adds, “It’s not a bad job!”

Girl power

Before she got cast as Felicity’s guitar-toting best friend Julie Emrick on the WB college drama, actress Amy Jo Johnson was best known to young fans as Kimberly, the Pink Power Ranger. “I was a Power Ranger three or four years ago, and the little kids [who watched] were like 8 years old,” says Johnson, 28. “Now they are 12, and they watch Felicity. So it’s kind of cool.” Johnson moved from Cape Cod, Mass., to New York City right after graduating from high school. But she says she wasn’t nearly as experienced as Julie when she hit the Big Apple. “I think I was a little more naive and a little more innocent in terms of guys,” says Johnson. “Julie has definitely ‘been there and done that’ more than I had.”

Chocolate craving

Sixteen-year-old actress Leelee Sobieski (Never Been Kissed), who stars in the CBS miniseries Joan of Arc, airing May 16 and 18, has nothing but sweet memories of the late Stanley Kubrick, who directed her in his last movie, Eyes Wide Shut. “At the end of filming he wrote me this letter and sent boxes of chocolates to my mother and me,” recalls Sobieski, who, of course, agreed to keep her mouth shut about her role in the top-secret Tom CruiseNicole Kidman psychosexual thriller, due July 16. “I had the last piece a couple months ago. I ate it one day for good luck. I wish I would have saved it now.” Sobieski will always cherish the great director’s letter, though: “Stanley wrote, ‘I’m sorry I never had enough time to show you around London. Next time you come, I’ll give the tour.’ ”

The Lowe down

Rob Lowe turns up on the big screen in next month’s Austin Powers sequel, Austin Powers II: The Spy Who Shagged Me, as a younger version of Dr. Evil’s henchman, Number Two. “I got the role because one day Mike Myers and I were playing golf,” recalls Lowe, 35, who also costarred in Myers’s 1992 hit comedy, Wayne’s World. “I know Mike loves Robert Wagner, and I do a great imitation of R.J. So out of the blue I did it for Mike. A few days later, Mike sent me the script to The Spy Who Shagged Me. And on one of the first few pages it says, ‘Rob Lowe enters as a young Robert Wagner.’ ”

Show me the mummy!

“I didn’t want to be a big scary monster,” says Arnold Vosloo (Darkman II) of his title role in the new action adventure The Mummy. “I wanted to find the humanity in the mummy. I really saw him as a tragic figure.” Still, the South African actor had to shroud himself in the obligatory gauze for effect. “I didn’t freak out when they were wrapping me until it got to the point where there were just two tiny nose holes to breathe,” says Vosloo, 36, whose character battles Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. “Then I was lowered into a coffin, and they put a huge stone lid over the top.” Vosloo admits that he could stay entombed for only 20 seconds at a time. “When you’re buried alive, strange thoughts go through a man’s mind,” he says. “Honestly, I prayed to God that there wouldn’t be an earthquake because I knew they would forget about me.”